Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Book # 12 - My Childhood

It was not such a great idea to choose the book of a Russian heavyweight and what made it even more difficult was the fact that I was reading Maxim Gorky for the very first time. Even though it was a slightly dismal read, it was a consolation that it was not as difficult or long as those of Dostoevsky or Tolstoy.

'My Childhood' is an autobiography and is based on Gorky's own childhood experiences. After his father's death, Gorky and his mother went to live with his grandparents. Gorky's grandfather was a terror who took pleasure in punishing everyone, especially children. His grandmother was very kind to him and told him many stories and folk lores and is said to have influenced him towards becoming a writer. This is the first part of his autobiographical series as the book ends when Gorky is in his teens and is kicked out by his grandfather when Gorky's mother dies. The other two parts are 'Among the People' and 'My Universities'.

The prose was crisp and simple though a little melancholic. But when it comes to Russian authors, Dostoevsky is still my favourite!